This Sicilian-inspired winter citrus salad featuring sweet oranges, briny Frescatrano olives, and crunchy pistachios is sure to become your new favorite on a dreary winter day.
This recipe was inspired by one I saw on Saveur. The colors, flavors, and textures all mesh so well with one another. Not to mention, that citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which is exactly what we need during cold and flu season to help give our immune systems a healthy boost.
Winter Is Citrus Season
Most citrus fruits are at their sweetest and juiciest during the winter. In general, most oranges are best from December until March, with blood oranges going until April. Clementines and tangerines are the best between late October through March. Ruby red grapefruits are best between October and April, but other varieties hold on into early summer.
What To Look For & How To Store Citrus
Look for firmness to the peel with no shriveling, rupture, or other signs of decay. Pick fruit that feels heavy for its size – that’s a sure sign of juiciness. Rock-hard fruit was stored improperly or is past its prime.
It’s fine to leave your citrus on the countertop for a few days especially if you plan to juice it. If you’ve got a lot and fear it going bad before you get through it all, refrigerating will extend the shelf life for about two weeks. Store your citrus in mesh bags or loose in the produce drawer. They need air circulation.
Ingredients & Substitutions for Winter Citrus Salad
Citrus – I used two Cara Cara oranges, which have a sweet flavor and low acidity. However, you can use whatever combination of citrus you like. Personally, I love blood oranges for their flavor and amazing color. Mix and match. They are all delicious.
Shallot – I prefer the delicate and sweet flavor in this recipe but you could use a sweet variety of onion instead.
Frescatrano olives – these are very similar to Castelvetrano olives, but Greek. The fruit retains its sweetness and vibrant green color because it is not fermented and not pasteurized. The taste is mild, sweet, fresh, and buttery.
Pistachios – I just love them and think they are the perfect match for citrus. Obviously, if you have a nut allergy just omit them.
Parsley – a simple classic herb. Fresh mint would be a bold substitute to try in its place.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I pretty much only use “EVOO” but the grassy, peppery flavor and fruity aroma are at their best, in my mind, in salads.
Salt and black pepper
Winter Citrus Salad
- 2 Cara Cara oranges
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced shallot
- 3 tbsp roasted, unsalted pistachios coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup Frescatrano olives pitted and quartered
- 1 tbsp minced parsley
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Slice off and discard the top and bottom of each orange. Stand the fruit upright on a cutting board, then use a sharp knife to cut away the rind and pith in strips from top to bottom, making sure to follow the contour of the fruit. Turn the fruit on its side and slice into wheels between ¼ inch thick. Remove seeds and arrange the wheels on a platter.
- Scatter the shallot slices, chopped pistachios, olive pieces, and chopped parlsey over the citrus slices.
- Drizzle on the extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Enjoy!
Photos by Renato Ghio